13 July 2000
Lord hits out at farm union leaders

by FWi staff

LORD Geraint, patron of the Welsh Livestock Auctioneers Association, has accused union leaders of being out of touch with their members.

His comments follow the failure of the Welsh Meat Company to get support from the needed 1000 producers to fund a meat marketing co-operative.

The former Liberal Party agricultural spokesman said farmers leaders should have done their homework before each publicly investing 250 in such a project.

Members of the National Farmers Union Cymru-Wales and the Farmers Union of Wales had rejected the proposal out of hand, said Lord Geraint.

Even Rhodri Morgan, National Assembly First Secretary, had suffered a humiliating defeat after initially throwing his weight behind project.

Lord Geraint also criticised Rhodri Glyn Thomas, chairman of the agriculture committee, who had urged farmers to invest in the initiative.

Mr Thomas should have found out what producers thought of a plan backed by the Welsh Development Agency that could have closed many auctions, he said.

Mr Thomas said he still believed farmers would have helped themselves by joining the company, especially when it later became involved in processing.